Some friends and relatives keep asking me about how all three of us flew first class and business class on Cathay to Hong Kong and Bali, when we scarcely fly at all domestically, apart from the occasional trip to Hawaii. Many other families are in a similar boat, if their families live close by or if they typically drive or take the train to visit them. Mileage running is not only not appealing to me, it's really not an option with a young child at home. What is appealing? Flying international first class for business and family vacations, without any mileage running or lackluster domestic flights.
Most readers are very familiar with the cards and strategies in this post, but I thought it would be helpful to lay it out, along with the sequence in which I'd apply for these cards, for the sake of friends and family that are new to miles and points and trying to figure out how to accrue enough for international business and first class travel. So here we go!
Step 1: Make Sure You Have a High Credit Score and Won't Need a Mortgage, Refinancing or Major Loan in the Next Year
You'll want to have a credit score in the mid-high 700s, no credit card debt, and pay all of your credit cards off in full each month. If you anticipate taking out a mortgage or doing a refinancing or taking out another major loan within the next year, it's best to refrain from credit card applications until you complete the process, to ensure you're getting the absolute best rate with your lender.
Update: There has been a BankDirect Devaluation, so I no longer recommend keeping more than $50, 000 in an account, for 60, 000 AA miles per year
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